Skyline International has always been a company that I’ve admired for it’s forward thinking, imaginative development and gutsy purchases. Founder and president, Israeli-born Gil Blutrich, has always thought way outside the box and has created a company that strives to do things differently, especially when it comes to the environment.
So, it was no surprise to me when I found out that Skyline’s CEO, Michael Sneyd, volunteered to do some dirty work on location at two of Skyline Hotels & Resorts’ locations on Undercover Boss Canada, airing Thursday, March 29, 9 p.m. on the W Network.
Skyline Hotels & Resorts owns Toronto’s Cosmopolitan Hotel and the Pantages Hotel, four Shizen Spas, Deerhurst Resort, Horseshoe Resort, and operates Le Méridien King Edward Hotel and employs over 1,500 people.
The company is building residential units at Deerhurst, Horseshoe and along the historic lakefront of Port McNicoll, and recently acquired The Cleveland Arcade and Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade.
On the show, Sneyd joins employees at Horseshoe Resort near Barrie and Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka to wait tables, make snow for ski hills and haul hay for hungry horses.
“Initially I was concerned about being recognized, but the approach and disguise were effective and allowed me to fit right in as a front-line employee,” Sneyd said in a press release.
“I was humbled by how difficult it is to spend a full shift on your feet and the level of customer service and professionalism our staff achieve.”
The experience inspired Sneyd to implement an annual “Undercover Jobs Day” at Skyline, where corporate office executives, general managers and hotel leadership committee members will all spend a shift filling line-level jobs.
“There’s nothing like walking in another person’s shoes, even for a short time, to open your eyes to their work world.”
Sneyd’s role also opened his eyes to just how much walking many of the jobs at the 600-acre Horseshoe Resort and 760-acre Deerhurst Resort demand.
“Both are large properties and I’d estimate many of our team cover at least five kilometres a day in the course of simply completing their tasks.”
Sneyd was hired to implement Blutrich’s fast-forward vision, in his first 12 months he Sneyd has already overseen a $27 million private equity placement and the acquisition of Deerhurst Resort, and the company’s first U.S. property, the landmark Cleveland Arcade and the 293-room Hyatt Regency hotel.
Sneyd’s Undercover Boss Canada experience was “a once-in-a-lifetime shot to get a different perspective on what’s important to this company and our customers,” he said. “The staff I worked with shared valuable information which I would likely not have learned if they knew they were shepherding the boss around for a day.”
Other companies who have participated in the inaugural season of Undercover Boss Canada include Molson Coors Canada, Second Cup, Cineplex Entertainment and GoodLife Fitness.